If Jane Eyre is really close to your heart, then you'd probably understand how thrilled we were when we heard this news! The Brontë Society in Haworth (in northern England) recently discovered an unpublished short story along with a poem by Charlotte inside a book owned by the novelist's mother.
Maria Brontë (her mother) died when her children, including authors Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, were quite young. Among the few things she left behind was a copy of The Remains of Henry Kirke White by Robert Southey, which according to the Brontë Society was quite treasured by the whole family. However, the family sold the book after Charlotte's father, Patrick, died in 1861. The book ended up travelling from the family home in Haworth to the US, where it landed up with a book collector.
Rife with sketches, marking and explanations about the family members, the just-discovered volume also had some unpublished manuscripts by the teenage Charlotte stuck inside the book. The poem was found along with a sliver of prose, folded into the same book. Apparently, the book was on the boat carrying Maria Brontë's belongings that was shipwrecked off the coast of Devonshire, England, in the early 1800s. It was one of the few things belonging to her that survived.
The collections manager at the museum, Ann Dinsdale, called the book "One of the most significant Brontë items to come to light in many years". Well, we can't wait for the contents of the story and the poem to be revealed!